By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Compared to acts like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, KOLARS and Faces On TV, disco-punk/alt-pop duo Ask Carol recently dropped their latest single, “Do It In LA,” a feel-good tune that serves as a distraction from frustrations and a chance to live out a celebrity fantasy.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have altered their plans slightly, but they’ve used the time to churn up new material and are slated to put our debut album in early 2021, with a handful of single releases to keep everybody preoccupied until then.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with member Ask about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Oslo, Norway to someone who has never been there before?
Ask – Oslo is a nice city, the only big city in Norway. It’s still small though, compared to other countries. It is very expensive, like all of Norway and for many foreigners, it might seem a little cold. Not just the weather, but also the vibe. That’s just the culture here. It is very different, especially compared to – for example, America or something. It has some historic buildings and nice sightseeings. The concert scene is not that big, not that many venues and we’ll have to see how they cope through this corona-crisis. You also have the nature very close, just a short metro-ride away. There, people go for hikes and stuff. It is very nice.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about alternative rock?
Ask – The concerts are awesome. That feeling of getting lost in that experience of the music is so good. Miss those times. Really hope it can begin again soon…
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the name Ask Carol?
Ask – After thinking hard and long about the band name, with many pretty good suggestions, we ended up with the simple band name Ask Carol. Our first names, Ask and Carol, put together. Ask is a real Norwegian name, coming from Norse Mythology, the Viking religion. Ask was the first human being, created by the God Odin, out of a piece of Ash-wood. You can read all about that story on Wikipedia.
Music Bugle – What inspired the artwork for your latest single “Do It In LA”?
Ask – We like the color yellow and it is sort of our theme and the song has a very specific theme of L.A., so we had to include that too. Apart from that, it’s just ideas that we bounce back-and-forth between each other.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Ask – Well, actually, I think both. It’s both harder and easier. It is easier, ’cause it’s so easy to reach quite a lot of people, but it is also harder, ’cause it is so easy for everyone, so everyone does it. You become one of so many people fighting for peoples’ attention. Facebook’s organic reach is pretty much zero these days, but there are some other social media that still have some organic reach.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ask – First of all, all our trips and tours have been cancelled or postponed and our local concerts have also been postponed. Right here, where we have our studio, we don’t really notice it in everyday life, because there are only 150 people living in this place. The closest neighbor is hundreds of meters away, so social distancing is no problem here. It can go weeks without us seeing another human being, even in normal times. (Laughs) Even though all our plans had to change drastically and we can’t go anywhere, we try to make the most of it. For example, these last couple of weeks, we made our first real lyric/animation video. We had to learn everything from the ground up. It was really exciting and we think the result turned out pretty good.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Ask – We actually made a Spotify playlist with some of our favorites, so you could check that out if you’d like. Some of the artists that we really love are on it.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about the band?
Ask – We do almost all of our videos, animations, artwork, promo and merch ourselves. The merch is printed in our studio. We started with that long before Corona, but it has been very handy these days.
Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?
Ask – We have started making our own music videos, trying to learn the filmmaking business from the ground up. All the programs, using the camera and everything else. It has really been a lot to take in, but we have managed to make a few videos already. The one for “Run With You” we did before the Summer and there’s another coming up for our current single, “Do It In LA,” which we are very excited about. We’re trying to learn some animation too, it’ll be fun to see how this turns out.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Ask – Well, one quote that comes to mind is this, because being a musician is not a “safe” profession, but we don’t always have to play it safe. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!’ That comes from Hunter S. Thompson, in the “The Proud Highway: Saga Of A Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967.”